July 5 (UPI) -- Two U.N. human rights experts are calling on Virginia not to execute a man with a psychosocial disability Thursday.
The special rapporteurs on summary executions, Agnes Callamard and Dainius Puras, issued a joint appeal one day before the scheduled execution of William Morva, 35. Callamard is the rapporteur for arbitrary executions and Puras for mental health.
The Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council appoints special rapporteurs and independent experts to examine and report on specific human rights situations. The positions are honorary and unpaid.
"We urge the authorities to annul the death sentence against Mr. Morva and to retry him in compliance with international standards related to due process and fair trial," they said.
In 2008, the Hungarian-American was sentenced to death for the murder of a hospital security guard and a sheriff's deputy two years earlier. While awaiting trial in the Montgomery County Jail, he overpowered a deputy sheriff during a trip to the hospital. He used the deputy's pistol to fatally shoot an unarmed security guard and killed another deputy during a manhunt the next day.
A court-appointed psychiatrist diagnosed Morva with delusional disorder in 2014 and said his crimes may have been committed because of delusions.
The jury was not told about his psychosocial condition. And Morva's lawyers said a more serious delusional disorder was not diagnosed until the appeals process.
"The denial of reasonable accommodation in detention can be considered a form of discrimination against him because of his mental health condition," the U.N. experts said.
Morva has ceased all communication with his legal team.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe, an opponent of capital punishment, has not commented on the case.
Dawn Davison, one of Morva's attorneys, says 34,000 people have pleaded with McAuliffe to stop the execution.
His lawyers say, according to laws, the mentally ill are exempt from the death penalty if they are found to be too insane to comprehend the punishment.
The last person to be executed in Virginia was Ricky Jovan Gray on Jan. 18 by lethal injection in Jarrett for the murder of two sisters.